Saturday, October 23, 2010

Postcards From The Pond 1


Saturday 23 October 2010
Lat. 50 degrees 56.60 mins north, Long. 1 degree 23.96 mins west

It is Saturday morning and we are somewhere near the northern edge of what my friend Mark called “The Bay Of Biscuits” (AKA The Bay of Biscay). Just had my usual early voyage quest to find somewhere quiet to sit and write. The first corner of a public room I identified turned out to be a Line Dancing Class, whilst the peace and quiet of my second location was quickly disturbed by the roar of lions and the eerie cry of the jackal (I later discovered that I had unknowingly joined a public lecture on big game hunting in Africa). I am now sat in what looks like a Spanish restaurant, but the waiter has quickly learnt to give me a wide berth.

We sailed out of Southampton at 4.00pm yesterday. I was able to tell my travelling companions (Harry (H), Elaine (E), and the Good Lady Wife (GLW)) that we were departing from the very same terminal that the Titanic left from 99 years ago, but the news wasn’t greeted with universal joy. H countered with selected stories of suicides he had investigated in his years as a police officer which cheered the party up no end. As we sailed away from Southampton a military band played Rule Britannia and I scanned the horizon in search of Mayflower Park, from the vantage point of which, blogger Martin H had promised to wave me a fond farewell. I waved with great energy but later discovered that my friendly adieu was directed at nothing more than the Southampton Container Terminal and Cold Storage depot.

A slight cloud was cast over proceedings on the first night when the GLW ate far too much at dinner and had to take to an early bed. The rest of us didn’t let this spoil our enjoyment and I attempted to counteract the GLW’s over-eating by over-drinking. The result was a long and restful sleep during which my bed was gently rocked by a bevy of dusky mermaids. I woke this morning to what the captain describes as a “fresh breeze” and tiny wavelets of no more than six foot high. But the GLW is on her feet again and, along with H and E, has gone to a lecture on nautical knots or some such things. I need to make a serious start on Chapter 2 of the Great Novella of the Twenty First Century (GNTFC) and will do so as soon as I can avoid the waiter who is now approaching me with a dish of paella.

I will write again soon,
AB

13 comments:

  1. This is a magnificent image. The Bay of Biscuits made me giggle! Mmm...enjoy that paella...I can smell it all the way from Willow Manor!

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  2. Ah, yes, paella sounds good to me too! Sounds like your voyage is off to a real start.

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  3. Sounds like your holiday is just perfect.

    PS. Dusky Mermaid? Sounds like a great name for a Real Ale. I could easily see myself popping down the local and asking for "half a dusky mermaid".

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  4. Bon Voyage, Alan! Have a wonderful trip!

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  5. I can imagine that line dancing would be a bit of a distraction while attempting to write. It would be far too entertaining watching the uncoordinated trying to keep in the same time/direction as the rest of the line.

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  6. The last time I checked, your ship was leaving from the Ocean Terminal, which would have meant I would be waving at waves, instead of you, from Mayflower Park.

    Anyway, have a great trip. Hope the Bay of Biscuits is kind to you.

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  7. You gave me a good case of the giggles - must have been the over-drinking and the mermaids.

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  8. Mermaids rocking your bed...that is the perfect way to describe it! Enjoy that cruise...I certainly love them! It's soooo easy to overeat, too! ha. Hope you have a splendid time!

    99 years later than the Titanic...fascinating!

    xo

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  9. All sounds good to me, the over eating and over drinking and the movement of the ship ...best wishes for finding the quiet spot you require to write your next chapter. Happy travels.

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  10. Which one are you on, Alan?

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  11. God sounds like you're having a simply miserable voyage. Commiserations, say g'day to the dusky mermaids

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  12. Stay off the Titanic buddy. Oh I guess you knew that. Have a great time.

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  13. This is going to be fun. Last time I came round the Bay of Biscuits, it was on a troop ship Empire Orwell and my father walked me up and down the deck to avoid seasickness. My mother was laid up in our cabin!

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